Ada D. Stewart, M.D., FAAFP (co-facilitator), a family physician with Cooperative Health in Columbia, South Carolina, is board chair of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and recent past president. The AAFP represents 133,500 physicians and medical students nationwide. As AAFP board chair, Stewart advocates on behalf of family physicians and patients to inspire positive change in the U.S. healthcare system. Stewart has been a practicing family physician with Cooperative Health, formerly Eau Claire Cooperative Health Centers, since 2012, and currently serves as lead provider and HIV specialist. She has held many leadership positions on the local, state and national levels. She has been a staunch advocate for marginalized populations, individuals living with HIV/AIDS and those of trans experience. Stewart is also a member of the American Academy of HIV Medicine, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, the National Medical Association, the American Medical Women’s Association, and many others. Born and reared in an underserved urban area of Cleveland, Ohio, Stewart has committed her career to ensuring that uninsured and low-income families have access to high-quality healthcare. She began her career as a National Health Service Corps scholar, caring for underserved patients in rural South Carolina. She continues to work with underserved communities in both rural and urban settings. Stewart was recognized in 2017 for her dedicated service in hepatitis C treatment and prevention by the South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council. She was recognized in April 2018 by the South Carolina chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women with the Health Award in recognition of her contributions to the health of the community in Columbia. Stewart has been named to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, where she continues to serve. In 2020, she was honored by the South Carolina House of Representatives and the South Carolina Senate for her contributions to the healthcare of the state of South Carolina and for her leadership on a national level. In the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, Stewart enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves and has achieved the rank of colonel.
She is a preceptor for nurse practitioners, medical residents and medical students and has received numerous awards, including the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society 2012 Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award for her precepting at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. She also conducts continuing education programs relating to HIV, health disparities, transgender care, hospice and palliative medicine, and hepatitis C. Stewart earned her Bachelor of Science in pharmacy from Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio. Realizing that she wanted to have a more direct impact on patients’ lives and well-being, she returned to school, completing her Doctor of Medicine at the Medical College of Ohio and her family medicine residency training at Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina. Stewart has also earned additional certification in HIV care from the American Academy of HIV Medicine and is certified as a hospice medical director by the Hospice Medical Director Certification Board. Stewart is board-certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. She has the AAFP degree of fellow, an earned degree awarded to family physicians for distinguished service and continuing medical education.